HOUSING charity Threshold has raised concerns about the possibility of co-living units being developed in Cork.
The CEO of Threshold, John-Mark McCafferty, said there are serious questions that need to be asked and answered surrounding the proposed developments.
His comments come after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said co-living units are an option for Cork.
Speaking outside the English Market on Thursday, the Taoiseach said that around 2,000 new homes are expected to be built in Cork this year, adding that one development could even be a co-living development.
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has come under fire in recent days for his stance on the controversial co-living apartments which boast bedrooms the size of parking spaces and one kitchen for every 42 people.
Tánaiste and Cork TD Simon Coveney was recently forced to hit back at opposition politicians for attacking Minister Murphy’s comments after the Housing Minister said that young people should be “excited” about the co-living arrangements, which could cost around €1,300 a month.
Speaking in Cork on Thursday, Mr Varadkar doubled down on the government’s support for the proposals.
“There are roughly 25,000 new homes expected to be built in Ireland this year, maybe 2,000 of these in Cork,” he said.
“It’s possible that maybe a few hundred — one development in Cork and two or three in Dublin — will be co-living.”
Mr McCafferty of Threshold said: “One of our key concerns is the rent levels being proposed for some of these co-living units.
“There seems to be very limited space available in these proposed units and the rent is very high.
“People are essentially being expected to pay very high amounts for very little space,” he added.
“It’s also not clear whether or not people residing in these co-living spaces will be tenants with full rights to the Residential Tenancies Act, or indeed if they are licensees.
“If they are licensees, they will have far less in the way of rights and protection,” warned Mr McCafferty.
“Why can’t we, as a society and as an economy, build sufficient houses and apartments that are appropriate for the needs of the population?
“It just seems that co-living is a less than ideal set up for a lot of people.”